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Best Android phones in 2022

Published Mar 15th, 2022 1:30AM EDT
Image: Christian de Looper for BGR

Apple’s iPhone series is rarely all that surprising. When you get a new iPhone, the overall experience is likely to be very similar to your previous device. Not so on the Android side though. There are Android phones of all shapes and sizes — not to mention different price points. In other words, there should be an Android phone for everyone. But that also means that finding the best Android phones can be a hard task.

Of course, that’s why we’ve put together this guide.

There are a few things to consider before picking out an Android phone. For starters, you’ll want to think about a budget. As mentioned, there are Android phones at all price points, meaning that no matter how much you want to spend, you should be able to find a solid device. You’ll also want to consider the software experience. Android phones aren’t all the same — and many device manufacturers tweak Android to add new features, change the look and feel of the software, and more. You might like some approaches to this more than others.

As with any kind of computer, there are other things to consider. If you game a lot, you might want a device with a decent processor to keep those games running smoothly. You’ll also want a phone with a decent display, and a good camera. Depending on your budget, it can be hard to find a phone with all of these things, but we’ll highlight the advantages and disadvantages of each phone below.

Without further ado, here are the best Android phones.

Best Android phone overall: Google Pixel 6

Google Pixel 6
Google Pixel 6 Image source: Christian de Looper for BGR

Pros: Excellent performance, smooth display, great camera, nice design

Cons: Display resolution isn’t impressive, no telephoto camera

Google has finally made a big splash with the Google Pixel 6. The company launched the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro after months of rumors, and while the Pixel 6 Pro is technically a better device, for the price, you really can’t beat the standard Pixel 6.

The Pixel 6 has 90% of the things that you get on the Pixel 6 Pro, but at $300 less. You’ll get Google’s solid new Tensor chip, which is the first smartphone chip that the company self-developed. It’s powerful enough to handle most day-to-day tasks, though it remains to be seen how well it will perform in a few years. And, the phone has a dual-camera setup, including the main camera and an ultrawide camera.

Perhaps the best thing about the Pixel 6 comes in the software. The device has Android as Google intended, meaning that it puts Google apps and services at the forefront of the experience. That’s great for those who like Google’s ecosystem. And, the device offers a ton of cool camera features, like the Magic Eraser feature, which can remove objects from an image after you capture it. It works fine at times, but it’s definitely fun to play with.

So what is the phone missing? Well, it’s missing the Pixel 6 Pro’s telephoto camera. And, while it has a 90Hz refresh rate, it doesn’t have the 120Hz, 1,440p resolution on offer by the higher-end device. Still, for $600, this is the best phone you can get right now.

Read our full review

Google Pixel 6 Google Pixel 6 $549 Available from a partner

Best premium Android phone: Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra

Samsung Galaxy S22 UltraImage source: Samsung

Pros: Excellent display, great performance, versatile camera

Cons: Expensive

Looking for the best of the best and don’t mind spending some cash? The Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra may be the device to get. The device offers a slightly different design to the other Galaxy S22 devices, instead opting for a Note-type look. But it still looks great and performs among the best.

The camera on the Galaxy S22 Ultra, in particular, is high-end. There’s a quad-camera array, which comes with a 108-megapixel main camera, a 12-megapixel ultrawide camera, a 10-megapixel telephoto camera with 3x optical zoom, and a 10-megapixel periscope telephoto camera with 10x optical zoom.

Under the hood, the phone has a lot to offer. You’ll get a Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 processor, coupled with either 8GB or 12GB of RAM and between 128GB and 1TB of storage. And, you’ll get all the perks you would expect from a high-end Samsung phone — like DeX support.

Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra $1,199.99 $881.82 Save up to 27% Available on Amazon

Best Android phone for enthusiasts: Google Pixel 6 Pro

Google Pixel 6 Pro
Google Pixel 6 Pro Image source: Christian de Looper for BGR

Pros: Solid display, great camera, good performance

Cons: Expensive

If you like the idea of the standard Pixel 6, but are willing to pay extra cash for the best features, then the Google Pixel 6 Pro is the way to go. The Pixel 6 Pro takes the already-excellent Pixel 6, but adds improvements to both the camera and the display that you’ll love if you’re a phone enthusiast.

First, the display. While the standard Pixel 6 offers a decent screen, the Pixel 6 Pro ups the ante to a 1,440p display with a 120Hz refresh rate. That means that everything will be a little crisper, and animations a little smoother. The camera improvement comes in the form of an extra sensor — the phone adds a telephoto camera, offers up to 4x optical zoom, and can zoom at up to 20x with digital zoom in the mix.

Like the standard Pixel 6, the Pro model offers a Google-focused Android experience, with plenty of AI-focused features to take advantage of.

So what are the downsides to the phone? Well, the design isn’t everyone’s favorite, though having used the phone I don’t mind it. And, while it’s cheaper than some flagships out there, the device isn’t cheap.

Read our full review

Google Pixel 6 Google Pixel 6 $899 Available from a partner

Best value Android phone: Samsung Galaxy S21 FE

Samsung Galaxy S21 FE color options
Samsung Galaxy S21 FE color options. Image source: Samsung

Pros: Inexpensive, flagship-tier performance, great display

Cons: Aging a little

Looking for a near-flagship phone and don’t want to spend $1,000? The Samsung Galaxy S21 FE may not be as impressive as some of the other phones on this list, but it still has a ton going for it. The device comes with a Snapdragon 888, which is Qualcomm’s last-generation flagship, along with either 6GB or 8GB of RAM. That should be more than powerful enough for most.

Despite the lower price tag, the Galaxy S21 FE also has a great display. It’s a 6.4-inch display, with a 1,080p resolution — but it has a super-smooth 120Hz refresh rate. On the back, you’ll get a triple camera system. That includes one 12-megapixel main camera, one 8-megapixel telephoto camera, and one 12-megapixel ultrawide camera.

Samsung Galaxy S20 FE Samsung Galaxy S20 FE Available on Amazon

Best small Android phone: Asus Zenfone 8

Asus Zenfone 8Image source: Asus

Pros: Compact, excellent performance, solid camera

Cons: Expensive

Do you miss the days of small-sized phones? The Asus Zenfone 8 is worth considering. The device offers top-tier performance, a solid display, and all in a compact design that you can easily use with one hand.

While the Zenfone 8 is small, it’s not underpowered. It still has a Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 processor, along with up to 12GB of RAM, and a 120Hz refresh rate that should make for a smooth experience overall.

So what about the downsides? Well, the battery isn’t all that great — which isn’t surprising given the phone’s size. And, the phone is pretty expensive.

ASUS Zenfone 8 ZS590KS 5G Dual 256GB 16GB RAM Factory Unlocked (GSM Only | No CDMA - not Compat… ASUS Zenfone 8 ZS590KS 5G Dual 256GB 16GB RAM Factory Unlocked (GSM Only | No CDMA - not Compat… $638.00 Available on Amazon

Best foldable phone: Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3

Galaxy Z Fold 3
Galaxy Z Fold 3 comes with IPX8 water-resistance rating. Image source: Samsung

Pros: Excellent performance, good camera, reliable

Cons: Foldables are still chunky, very expensive

Foldable phones are still in their infancy, but that doesn’t mean that you should avoid them. In fact, the Samsung Galaxy Fold 3 has a lot going for it. It’s a top-performing phone, and can unfold to show off a beautiful, tablet-sized screen.

On the front of the phone, you’ll get a nice 6.2-inch display. Unfold the device, and you’ll get a larger 7.6-inch display that’s perfect for watching movies or gaming on the go.

There are other great things about the phone too. You’ll get a solid triple camera system, with one 12-megapixel main camera, one 12-megapixel telephoto camera, and one 12-megapixel ultrawide camera. Under the hood, it has a Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 processor, coupled with 12GB of RAM.

There are issues with the device. The phone is incredibly expensive, and foldables are still a bit chunky.

Samsung Galaxy Fold 2 Samsung Galaxy Fold 2 $1,799.99 $1,199.99 Save up to 33% Available on Amazon

More Pixel 6 coverage: For more Google Pixel 6 news, visit our Google Pixel 6 guide.

Christian de Looper Senior Reviews Editor

Christian de Looper was born in Canberra, Australia, where he lived until the age of 14. After his father got a job in Paris, France, Christian lived there for five years, after which he moved to Minnesota for college. During college, Christian developed a passion for consumer technology by writing for tech blogs. Christian now lives in sunny Santa Cruz, California.